How far is too far?

When looking for a wedding venue, how far is too far for your guests?

I’m not talking about when you leave the country and have to decide how many of your family your going to pay to fly out, I’m talking about picking a city to get married in.

Now, my family is mostly in York and Frazzled Grooms family is mostly in Leeds (Frazzled Groom and I are Leeds too) so I consider either of these cities to be fair game, but what about further afield?
I spotted an amazing venue in Huddersfield, with an equally amazing price tag, but discounted it because it was 30 miles from my house and 47 from York city centre and I thought it unfair to ask people to travel that far, especially the ones who don’t drive. Since discounting it though, I have mentioned it to a couple of people who don’t seem to think it’s too far to travel for a wedding at all.

How is this possible? The way I see it, if I send you an invite, it’s because I want you to come and celebrate with me and I’m going to make this as easy for you as I can. Or am I looking at this wrong? Should I be of the opinion that if you want to come, you’ll make the effort? If you love me, you’ll be there?
I’m not sure I want to find out…. It could be a very lonely wedding….

 

The 2 year curse

I have discovered a problem with giving ourselves 2 years to plan (and save for) this wedding, I’m calling it the 2 year curse.
Basically it means that people don’t take you seriously and don’t want to waste too much time talking to you when they could be dealing with “real” customers!

I have experienced this several times, but it took me a while to realise it was a real thing. First it was with dresses. “When’s your wedding? Oh it’s too soon, come back in a year”.
Then it was venues. “I’m sorry, we can’t quote you for that date… we might not even OWN the building then!”!
And then it was everyone. Even our local church won’t take a booking before 12 months in advance!

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the mentality, they want to spend the time on the people who will be spending money with them soon, but I’m trying to plan a wedding too and knowing if something is likely to cost me £10 or £1000 is kinda important as I budget and save and if they talk to me, I’m more likely to go back to them when it’s time to book!

No matter! I finally have an idea of what I want and it should make it easier to find venues and stuff closer to the date and in the meantime, I can look at and play with flowers and invites and see what I think looks good.

Changing your mind

Christmas is over and it’s time to throw myself into wedding planning again, I still have a lot to do and I’ve decided that all the things I had already picked were silly and no good, so I’m starting again!

My original plans were to get married in a hotel and keep everything in the same place, but prices and their inability to deal with my allergy – not to mention their blandness – has got me looking elsewhere. I have found the perfect place now, though I cant book it (more on that later)

I was also wanting a lavender theme, the colour and the flower, but that proved to be expensive and impractical given our November wedding date so I’m looking for seasonal appropriate options instead. This means I need new ideas for the cake, the dresses, the flowers, the invitations…..

So I’m back at the beginning. Starting with a blank slate. Wish me luck!

‘Tis the season to…. Panic?

Sorry I’ve been quiet, it’s just the time of year. I can’t seem to split my brain in two and with Christmas coming up, I’m having to give it my full attention or I’ll forget something important….. like presents!

That being said though, one thought has crept into my mind and won’t leave….. If I can’t throw ideas round and write blog posts 2 years before the event because of Christmas shopping, what am I going to be like when the big day arrives?

Our provisional date is November 25th, how will I deal with all the last minute planning AND get everything done for Christmas? Have we made a mistake with the date? Will Christmas that year suffer?

OK, yes, I’m being a drama queen! But I’m a worrier at the best of times. The wedding will be one of the most stressful things I have ever been through and while I’ll have all year to plan both, I won’t. It will be all wedding, wedding, wedding until it’s done and then I’ll panic over having less than a month to get Christmas planned and presents bought!

Honestly, I don’t know how people leave their shopping to Christmas eve, I’m having palpitations just thinking about the pressure….

Who needs a sash?

Everywhere you look in the world of hotel weddings there are white chair covers and theme appropriate sashes. I have seen every colour you could possibly imagine for those sashes, including canary yellow and lime green, but it didn’t occur to me until yesterday that you could use other things to decorate your chairs.

For example, why not use beads, lace, ribbon or flowers to decorate your chairs? You can buy all of these things on reels in haberdasheries or online for a reasonable price and it gives your venue a unique look.

Here are a couple of examples courtesy of google images:

 

 

I had this amazing epiphany by accident during a conversation with another bride and I’m happy to say she loved the idea. I don’t know if the idea will make it to her wedding day, but we have plans to go look at a couple of haberdasheries for some inspiration next week.

It makes me all warm and fuzzy to think that someone likes one of my ideas so much that they are considering it for their own big day!

Venue – York House Hotel

I chose York House Hotel as our first visit because, of all the hotels on our list, it had the most character and I hoped that by going to see it, we would be able to answer the question of whether we wanted a hotel or a church wedding.
Here’s how it went:

 

Our appointment time was 12 pm, but at 11.30 am, I received an email asking if we could postpone due to a meeting taking up one of the rooms we would want to see. As we had travelled there by train, we were already there and couldn’t really postpone so Layla (Wedding and Events Manager) set us up in the restaurant with complimentary afternoon tea for 2. This consisted of a selection of triangle sandwiches, bite-sized cheesecake and tiramisu, 2 pieces of Victoria Sponge Cake and a pot of strawberries and raspberries with clotted cream, served with coffee (or tea) and a glass of orange juice for Little Man.

The hotel is a beautiful building, thought to have been built in the late 1760s and still has many of its original features, including the (none working) fireplaces and the decorative mahogany door frames but despite the tall, narrow staircases and the warren like corridors, it still has a modern feel thanks to the decor.

Our wedding would be spread over 3 rooms and 2 floors with a small room downstairs for the ceremony, a larger room upstairs for the DJ and tables and a private bar room where they would expect to put the buffet table. I found this to be a little odd for a hotel, but then again, the fact it wasn’t a “typical” hotel was what drew me there in the first place.

The visit itself felt very rushed, probably because of the delay, but it gave the impression that we weren’t particularly valued, which managed to spoil the whole thing. After spending so much time in “talks” with them via email, I felt very rejected after the visit and couldn’t help but wonder if they expected me to be more upmarket because I know how to correspond.

The Planner

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At the beginning of my planning, Frazzled Bridesmaid gave me a book to keep all my planning stuff in. It’s great, it covers everything!
It opens with a checklist – 12 months down to 1 week to go, has a pull out section on which you can keep track of each guest invite/reply/dietary requirements/gift/thank you card and then has sections for notes on step by step planning, styling and stationery, venue and catering, the bride to be and suppliers and contacts. It even has little envelopes and folders to keep sample in.
It’s the perfect, all round wedding planner!

I can see myself taking it to possible venues or cake tasting appointments, samples, swatches and business cards busting out of the sides. I imagine it being my go-to for all things wedding related……

Now, here’s the downside….. I’m afraid to use it!

It’s so pristine and pretty that I don’t want to write anything in it that I might have to cross out. I don’t want to soil it’s perfection with mere possibilities!

I need to get a grip!